By Celeste Lohrenz
As it has been with nearly every industry, digital technology is changing the way people bank. Online tools and mobile apps are making it easier for people to manage their finances, giving them modern options to replace traditional options. P2P (Peer To Peer) payment apps, for instance, have become highly popular as a means of exchanging funds between individuals.
While check payments are still very popular – even with Millennials, new P2P payment users are nearly evenly split between those younger than and older than 45.
It’s really about having options. If there one thing a digital economy has proven it is that people want convenience. They want to be able to transact using whatever methods are most convenient for them at the time. That may mean going to a local bank office to understand the differences between home equity loans and HELOCs. It may mean putting a check in the mail for a monthly car payment. It may mean going to an ATM to take out cash for dinner. It may mean putting a new TV on a store credit account because of a no-interest offer. Increasingly, though, it also means using P2P apps to settle with friends, relatives, colleagues, or others.
For instance, Zelle – a mobile payment platform whose parent company is actually owned by seven major banks – delivered $49 billion through 196 million transactions in Q3 2019 alone, a year-over-year increase of 58% in transaction value and 73% in transaction volume. The Milford Bank is happy to now offer Zelle to our customers as a further option to your banking experience.
There are many reasons P2P payment apps such as Zelle are growing, but convenience is at the top of the list. Zelle offers a simple alternative to get money to other users quickly – if both parties are signed up with Zelle for instance, funds may be available within minutes. Zelle is available on both Android and iOS platforms, making it easy to transfer money to split a dinner tab or utility bill, regardless of what mobile devices your friends use.
But, perhaps the biggest benefit Zelle offers is trust. The biggest reason consumers avoid mobile payment apps is lack of trust. In addition to being operated by a consortium of the biggest banks in the country, Zelle partners with other financial institutions so those banks can make Zelle transactions available through their own mobile apps and online resources – as opposed to having to use a third-party app. Sending or requesting money is as simple as logging into The Milford Bank’s mobile app or online account and choosing the person to send funds to using your mobile contact list or entering their phone number or email address.
Along with The Milford Bank, more than 600 financial institutions have signed up to be part of the Zelle Network, with more than 250 already online and processing transactions. In all, more users representing more than 5,500 banks have successfully completed Zelle transactions.